Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's an S100, not an S50.

Saturday, after we had breakfast, the boys had gymnastics until about 11am. Then we went and picked up the rental truck and drove the 98 miles to Pine City and back to get the 2 kilns, and the pottery wheel. Rane was able to go over and spend the day with his friend Josh, but Christian's friends were busy so he had to ride along with us for the day. It was not much fun for him, but he colored pictures, did puzzles, and we read him some stories for fun. We didn't get back until about 5:30 and we were pretty tired from the ordeal, so we made dinner, popped some popcorn and watched a family movie (Night at the Museum).

This morning I pulled the truck around back, and unloaded it. It turns out the wheel was still packed in the original shipping box and is an S100, not an S50 as I first thought. I tested it and it works purr-fectly. I'm most jazzed about having the wheel, since I think the only way to really get good at something is to do it at least a few hours every day. This wheel new is $1206, so for the same price I essentially got the two kilns for free.

The kilns are in pretty rough shape, but the repairs (according to my inventory of damage) shouldn't be more than about $750. I intend to fix them one at a time though over the next three to six months. Until then, I can fire my stuff at school, or at a nearby shop. The newer kiln is a Skutt KS-1027-3; it is missing the slab, the stand, and has about a dozen damaged bricks, and needs the very top and very bottom elements replaced. The older one is a Skutt 235, and also needs about a dozen bricks replaced, a stand, and some cement patching on the slab and lid. Both need some TLC, cleaning and a good polish job. While I more deeply examined the specifications, I found that both kilns, if set up correctly, will fire up to cone 10. There is also an additional 4.5" section that can be added or removed from either kiln. They were stored in a pole barn so they are dusty and the hardware is getting corroded. I just hope the electronics are still sound.

I'm not sure I can wire this place to also handle two 3 phase 11000 watt devices running at the same time though. I have already placed a call into my local electric guru, but we traded voice mails on Friday. Pretty soon I'm afraid I will need to install my own power plant here. Someday I will have to discuss on this blog the pros and massive cons of having an entirely electric house. I know I'm already pulling up to 300 amps in here, and the previous owner was hugely into welding.


Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Kilns aren't as expensive as you think to run. Running mine nearly everyday costs about 100 a month in electric----which is NOTHING compared to the hundreds of dollars worth of stuff being fired.
You did well! Repairing kilns is %$#%$#&&&**!!!!!!!!!!!!! But you learn a lot, and Skutt has a GREAT tech guy. Good deal here. When you gonna invite me over? My sister lives in Bemidji and my nephew is a grad student at St John's......

Crafter of Khnum said...

That is good news on the power use. I'm not afraid to jump into anything, actually, so the kiln repair seems pretty straight forward. Even though I build my own computers, there is a limit to how deep I will dig if the replacement part is cheaper than my days of frustration. I've been in contact with a local distributor (Minnesota Clay), and they are being helpful so far. They haven't responded yet to my last e-mail, but I'm hopeful I will hear from them again soon.

Let me know when you are in town! We have similiar tastes in art, and music, and I think it would be fun to check out some of the great galleries around here.